The more things I've been doing in my internship, the more thoughts have been bouncing around in my head. I'm going to attempt to let some of them out...
Many congregation members want their pastor to be involved in everything the church does, which requires a time commitment on the part of the pastor which is more than many other full-time jobs. However, congregation members also want their pastors to be energetic, compassionate, passionate, and rested. They truly care about their pastor's well-being and want them to have time off and take care of themselves. Does anybody else see a contradiction here? Now, I am not complaining about any expectations that have been put upon me yet, as I am only about a month into my internship and am far from over-worked. This is just what I have observed regarding many of the pastors I know, and it does bring some concern for the future. I guess there is a need both for pastors and all those in ministry to learn to say "no" and parishioners to learn to accept that (if they haven't already).
Why do we church people get so hung up on things that, ultimately, don't matter? And why does it always come down to money? I realize our economy is in a horrible state right now, and we do need money for a church to operate, but there comes a point when a groups discusses a topic to death and you need to do what you can and move on and trust that God will provide. Are we serving God, or money? And are we really using the money that we have for its best purposes? I will be the first to admit that I have more "stuff" than I need and that I don't always make the best decisions regarding how I spend my money. I'm sure there are some congregations where the topic of stewardship is beaten into the members heads, but I think many are afraid to really delve into the subject. And it's more than just the message that the church needs money. Why don't we really talk and think through how we are using our money and our other gifts? And why not with our whole congregation, and not just a select few?
Sometimes I get frustrated with people... with the church... with people in the church. BUT, I know we're all only human. We're sinful, but we're loved and created by God. And ultimately, THAT'S WHAT MATTERS.
God loves you.
God loves me.
Therefore, I strive to love and serve God by loving and serving others. It's not always easy. But it's the call that God has BLESSED me with.